Pregnancy is one of the most thrilling moments for mothers-to-be. While it has many challenges, the symptoms are generally predictable, and women can take measures in advance. But what happens when people are carrying multiples?
Twin pregnancies often come with common pregnancy symptoms. Like any singleton pregnancy, there are typically physical, hormonal, and psychological signs. Still, there are early clues that can hint at multiple babies-to-be. Read on to learn more about the top symptoms of twin pregnancy.
Top 5 Twin Pregnancy Symptoms
Typically, it’s not until advanced pregnancy that it becomes evident that you are carrying twins. But apart from modern medical diagnostics, future mothers often have a family history of twins. In some cases, intuition also helps make a correct prediction. Still, there are five essential symptoms that may indicate you’re carrying multiples:
Higher chance of having twins
As already mentioned, genetics is the first factor that can signal possible twin pregnancy. If your family history shows persistency in such cases, then it’s very likely that you’ll inherit the trait, too. Of course, other factors may also raise your odds. Some of them include the following:
- Advanced maternal age (over 35 years old)
- BMI over 30
- Using ovulation induction medications associated with a 10% risk of multiple gestations
- History of previous pregnancies
Frequent nausea and vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are typical signs of pregnancy that every mother experiences. Unfortunately, carrying multiples often doubles the trouble, meaning you’ll likely experience those symptoms more often than expected. Elevated hCG levels often lead to Hyperemesis gravidarum, a more severe morning sickness. In some cases, nausea and vomiting become so bad that the person may need intravenous (IV) fluids and other assistance.
Excessive weight gain
Speedy weight gain sounds pretty standard during pregnancy. Depending on height, pre-pregnancy weight, diet, and body type can predetermine the expected weight gain. However, carrying multiples will create a belly bump significantly more considerably than you’ve thought. If you’re gaining weight quicker than expected or your belly has grown larger than usual, you’re likely expecting twins.
High hCG levels
Human chorionic gonadotropic hormone (hCG) is the hormone that confirms pregnancy. Since it’s produced by the cells surrounding the embryo, it’s a viable way to determine whether you’re pregnant. Usually, all mothers-to-be show high hCG levels. However, women pregnant with multiples often have higher-than-normal parameters.
While home pregnancy tests can detect hCG in urine, they cannot determine the exact amount of hormones in it. An hCG blood test at the doctor’s office can provide a more precise result. Still, it’s impossible to be sure you’re carrying twins due to the wide range of normal hCG levels for all pregnancies. That’s why you should confirm the test results with an ultrasound.
Severe pregnancy symptoms
Getting extra strain in the back or fast weight gain are symptoms that normally come with every pregnancy. However, carrying twins may lead to more substantial hormonal changes and more severe symptoms. In this regard, it’s safe to say that mothers expecting multiples are at a higher risk of anything. In most cases, twin pregnancy symptoms include fatigue, frequent urination, food cravings and breast tenderness.
When can you tell you’re pregnant with twins?
Diagnosing twin pregnancy isn’t something you can do 100% at home. The only way you can be sure is with the help of a specialist using ultrasound. The procedure happens after the first trimester, usually between 6 and 9 weeks of pregnancy. In some cases, women with higher human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (hCG) levels can be diagnosed as early as five weeks.
Of course, hCG levels don’t always prove you’re carrying multiples. That’s why you should deem ultrasound as the most reliable solution. Keep in mind that identifying twin pregnancy early can have its downside too. About 20 to 30 per cent of the time, women pregnant with twins may end up getting the “vanishing twin syndrome”. In other words, they may lose a twin, reabsorbing the tissue of the miscarried baby.
How twin pregnancy symptoms help early diagnosing
Diagnosing twins early on can ensure smoother pregnancy, whether it’s a mother’s instinct or some sneaky suspicion. While the surest way to confirm such a condition is through ultrasound, factors like elevated hCG levels, high alpha-fetoprotein and other visible symptoms can signal you’re carrying more than one baby. Ultimately, knowing how to recognize twin pregnancy get proper help during the period and afterwards.